The chief constable of north Wales is calling on the government to speak out in support of speed cameras.
Some believe speed cameras are for profits rather than saving lives
Richard Brunstrom said he believed those opposed to the use of cameras have too much influence on road safety policy.
Mr Brunstrom is the Association of Chief Police Officers' spokesman on
He wants the Government to consider significant increases in the number of
cameras, including hidden devices.
Mr Brunstrom said he believed hidden devices would be far more effective in the reduction of speed than the current system of highly-visible yellow boxes.
The senior policeman has long been an advocate of increased use of speed cameras.
He accused Tony Blair and his Cabinet of failing to push the case for cameras strongly enough,
for fear of the electoral consequences.
Mr Brunstrom told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think it is the Jeremy Clarkson
effect, the petrolhead lobby, a very vocal, but actually very small group.
"The evidence is overwhelming that something more than three-quarters of the
population of the country support the use of speed cameras in the way the
government is doing it."
Although he stopped short of saying that ministers were "running scared" of the anti-camera lobby, he pointed to a lack of overt support for current road safety policies.
Jeremy Clarkson was accused of being a 'Petrolhead'
"I would like to see more politicians in the Cabinet, from the prime minister
down, standing up and saying 'The evidence is solid. We are going to do this
because it saves lives'."
"We ought to have much more leadership, much more determination that we are going to do this," Mr Brunstrom added.
The policeman cited surveys from around the world which suggest that speed cameras are effective in preventing accidents.
He also pointed to research which suggests that hidden devices have a greater impact than visible ones in reducing speed.
The decision to paint Britain's cameras yellow in order to win public
acceptance of the scheme had been correct, but it was now time to move on to
hidden devices, he said.
Richard Brunstrom is calling for action from the government
The number of officers dedicated to traffic duties has fallen over the past decade due to the government decision to prioritise other areas of police work.
Mr Brunstrom added: "Police resources have drifted slowly away from road policing because that is the government's intention."
While the number of injuries caused by vehicle accidents was falling "the
number of deaths is not going down", said Mr Brunstrom.
"That may be partly because of the constraints placed on us as a police
service by the existing government rules."